We often talk about other couples on this blog – who they are, how they met, and why we love working with them. This time, we’re going to talk about ourselves! We figure we spend all this time getting to know all of you; maybe you’d like to know about us! While this post isn’t our personal love story, this is our love story with wedding photography and how we got into it.
Matt’s Underwater Experience
Since I was a small child, I have been fascinated with watching Jacques Cousteau scuba dive on National Geographic Explorer. But scuba diving is an expensive sport and hobby. So, it was either time or money that prevented me from learning more about it. In 2005, the oceans aligned, and I had both the time and money to invest into learning to dive. Along the way, I brought my camera because it is as important to me as the air tank on my back. My interest never waned, so I became a NAUI certified Scuba Diving Instructor Trainer. And what do you do when you are a scuba diving instructor and a photographer? You take your underwater camera with you and dive deep, of course!
My desire to take better photos fueled my love of scuba diving. And it was my love of scuba diving that fueled my desire to take better photos. The difficulty of underwater photography greatly appealed to me and drove me to get better at my craft.
While I was taking incredible images of aquatic life, I really wanted to understand more about the science and art of underwater photography. So in 2012, I took some classes at the Erie Art Museum with Art Becker, a local commercial photographer. Before meeting in his class, Art had been following my work with underwater photography. As my knowledge and interest grew in underwater images, he offered to mentor me. After a year, he told me he couldn’t teach me anymore. “If you don’t do this for a living, you will be wasting your talent,” he said.
So, in 2013, we incorporated Matt Mead Photography and started our business. Here’s where Teri comes in because she asked me one of the most pivotal questions of my career. And it completely changed the trajectory of our business.
Teri’s Journey into Photography
While Matt was behind the lens, I worked at a local nonprofit as a program administrator and instructor managing a vulnerable population. While I loved my work, I came to a juncture where I could continue on my path or pursue new opportunities. When I decided to step away from my career in the nonprofit sector, Matt started developing his photography business. Together, we decided to take the plunge and look for new opportunities to grow Matt Mead Photography. I had to quickly learn everything on the job; it was a baptism by fire! I’m so grateful that my previous occupation and career equipped me to manage a business with my partner. There’s something amazing when you take your small business and grow it into something bigger than you could have possibly expected.
It was the Fall of 2017, and Matt was tired of photography. He didn’t want to photograph another conference or banquet. He became so fed up after one particular event that he almost threw his equipment into Lake Erie. Photographing a room full of business people was just not bringing him joy. He missed the ability to be an artist like he could when photographing underwater. Thankfully, Matt shared his frustration. Upon hearing this, I asked him, When are you happiest behind the camera? Matt thought and answered from his heart. When I photograph weddings, was his response. It was then that we made the pivot into wedding photography. And once we made that pivot, our business exploded.
Matt’s Underwater Photography to Wedding Photography Journey
When I realized that I was happiest when I was capturing a love story, I couldn’t turn back. What makes me happy about weddings? Up to this point in their life, the most important day for a couple is their wedding day. Each time a couple entrusts me to photograph a wedding, I realize the privilege and honor it is to document it. I do not go into that lightly. But for both of us, it’s more than photography. Being involved with a couple’s wedding means helping support in other areas of the wedding too. Because we have worked with so many vendors over the years. It comes naturally to us to offer guidance in the planning, knowing that these other trusted businesses will come alongside our couples to make their experience shine.
I love the complexity that weddings offer. For me, wedding photography is very similar to building a puzzle. I love problem-solving a photo – the setting, the lighting, the ambiance, and so much more. With each camera click, a couple might hear me ask them to smile or kiss each other. But behind the scenes, I’m looking for the best solution for their image. To create an image is to capture a moment in time that includes emotion and physical details that are important to each photo. I know I’m done photographing a wedding when the pictures from your wedding tell a full story. That’s how I know when the photo puzzle I’m building is complete.
And a gift that weddings offer is that each one is different and allows me to operate uniquely. Nothing repeats itself no matter how many weddings I photograph because each has its own unique characteristics. The complexity of the day and being behind the camera simply intrigues me.
Are you our missing puzzle piece?
So, this is us. Who we are and why we do what we do. Our journey is different and unique, just like each couple we work with.
Let’s talk! We’d love to hear your dreams for your wedding and help you narrow down your vision and hopes for your union. Plus, we want to be there and support you as you start your life together with a fun celebration!
And if you ever want to get married underwater, I’m your man! Scuba anyone?!